A mix-up with their reservations forces Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai to share a room with the hotel owner's daughter, Elettra. The four kids discover an amazing coincidence...they all have birthdays on February 29, Leap Day. That night, a strange man gives them a briefcase and asks them to take care of it until he returns. Soon afterward, the man is murdered.
The kids open the briefcase. In it they find a series of clues that take them all over Rome, through dusty libraries and dark catacombs, in search of the elusive Ring of Fire, an ancient object so powerful that legend says even a Roman emperor couldn't control it.
In the first book of the Century Quartet, Italian author P. D. Baccalario begins a mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.